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Help us Celebrate the 11th Annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day!

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May 19, 2022 is the 11th anniversary of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). GAAD is an event to get everyone talking, thinking, and learning about digital access and inclusion. The day started with a single blog post written by a web developer, Joe Devon. An accessibility professional in Toronto, Jennison Asuncion, stumbled across the blog post and tweeted about Joe’s idea for GAAD. The two joined forces to officially create GAAD leveraging their extensive and respective networks.

What Is Digital Accessibility

The World Wide Web Consortium developed Web standards with the mission to make the Web work for everyone, whatever their technology, location, language, or ability. “When the Web meets this goal, it is accessible to people with a diverse range of hearing, movement, sight, and cognitive ability.” (W3C)

Blind Man Using Technology

Some examples of digital accessibility could include:

  • A screen reader that vocalizes website content for visually impaired individuals
  • Closed-captions on videos for hearing impaired individuals
  • Images that include alternative text for the visually impaired
  • Websites that are easily navigable by a keyboard for those who can’t use a mouse

Why Digital Accessibility Is Important

An estimated 1.85 billion people in the world have disabilities or impairments. (Return on Disability Group) And according to the CDC, 1 in 4 adults in the U.S. (26%) have some type of disability. (CDC)

Digital accessibility can help to create a more inclusive world, especially for people with disabilities. Above all, it can help create equal education, opportunities, ecommerce, and more. For instance, think about how much time you spend on the web. Can you imagine being met with frustration on each visit?

“The power of the Web is in its universality. Access by everyone regardless of disability is an essential aspect.” — Tim Berners-Lee, W3C Director and inventor of the World Wide Web

How We’re Celebrating GAAD

Perficient is celebrating GAAD by having its accessibility colleagues share videos of how accessible solutions impact lives. Check out their favorites below!

Ron MccallumSean Stephenson
How Technology Allowed Me to ReadThe Prison of Your Mind  
Ron McCallum shows how he celebrates the progression of clever tools and adaptive computer technologies. Vonnita Jones' PickSean Stephenson shares his perspective on what it truly means to be disabled. "The only disability is one's refusal to adapt." Brendan O'Hara's Pick
Meet the Deaf-Blind Lawyer Fighting For People With DisabilitiesAccessibility And Inclusion For All 
Meet the Deaf-Blind Lawyer Fighting For People With DisabilitiesAccessibility And Inclusion For All
Haben Girma shares how inaccessible the world was/is to her, and how she overcame various obstacles. Samdisha Singh's PickThe World Economic Forum shares personal stories of disability inclusion and innovation around the world. Christina Evans' Pick
Webb AccTech Blind
Web Accessibility Perspectives by the W3CHow New Technology Helps Blind People Explore the World
Web accessibility is essential for people with disabilities and useful for all. This video provides a compilation of 10 topics. Phil Fortier's PickChieko Asakawa shares how technology and accessible devices helped her to explore the world. Archana Thakare's Pick
Creating an Accessible Digital FutureI'm Not Your Inspiration, Thank You Very Much  
Judy Brewer works on accessibility of the digital world at the World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI). Jennifer Siegfried's PickStella Young might be in a wheelchair, but that doesn't turn her into a noble inspiration for all humanity. Lisa McMichael's Pick
Accessible TechLiam Malone
Accessible Tech Makes Better Tech For Everyone Turning Disability Into Ability
The best products are coming from places where they think deeply about inclusive design and accessibility says Nina Baliga. Gulen Yilmaz's PickLiam Malone believes that technology advances and determination is the key to his success in sport and life. Meenal Udapure's Pick
Disability & WorkMolly Burke
Disability and Work: Let’s stop wasting talentHow I Use Technology as a Blind Person!
Hannah Barham-Brown argues that people with disabilities are an asset more employers need to harness. Rachel Wilcox's PickAccessibility public speaker and social media influencer Molly Burke shows how Apple’s VoiceOver screen reader helps her use her mobile devices. Chace Lauring's Pick

Improving Our Own Digital Accessibility

Perficient is actively improving our accessibility across all of our sites, both internal and external to ensure that all our pages are accessible for everyone. For example, we’re making sure colors have high contrast, verifying that screen readers can understand our site, and that it can be navigated without using a mouse. In addition, we’ve been working with some of our own experts, such as Lisa McMichael, to make sure that we’re adding these checks into daily design. We’re making changes and adding normal routines to ensure that we’re doing this every day. And it’s not just web. We’re updating our print and video as well. It’s a process that doesn’t happen overnight, but we’re on the way to working it into all facets.

For more information about accessible design, contact our experience design experts, check out our Accessibility IQ for your website, download our guide Digitally Accessible Experiences: Why It Matters and How to Create Them, and read our UX for Accessible Design series.

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Sarah Shapiro, Regional Marketing Manager

Sarah Shapiro is a Regional Marketing Manager based out of St. Louis, Missouri. Sarah oversees marketing efforts for Perficient's GEO business units across the United States. She is a proud member of Perficient's Women in Tech ERG and serves on the Special Olympics of Missouri Young Professionals Board

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